Newcastle fans warned over Paolo Di Canio salutes

Paolo Di Canio Sunday's game is Di Canio's second game in charge of Sunderland

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Newcastle United fans have been warned not to taunt new Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio with fascist salutes during Sunday's North East derby match.

The 44-year-old issued a statement shortly after joining Sunderland last month insisting he does not "support the ideology of fascism".

But the Italian was fined for making right-arm salutes to Lazio fans as a player in 2005.

Northumbria Police said such gestures would not be treated "as a joke".

Ch Supt Steve Neill said: "Offensive gestures, particularly those with a suggestion of racist connotations, are completely unacceptable.

"We will take positive action against anyone seen acting in an offensive or racist manner."

CCTV footage from St James' Park will be analysed after the game and applications made for football banning orders where necessary, Mr Neill said.

Di Canio's appointment led former foreign secretary David Miliband to step down from the Black Cats' board due to his "past political statements".

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